Van Persie's goal is one for the ages.
Van Persie takes his place alongside Bergkamp's memorable goal against Argentina combining athleticism and astounding skill while turning around high stakes matches.*
The real story was the destruction of the greatest football side of the last few decades. I am not claiming that Spain is out of the cup; Chile and Australia are both uneven teams (the goal that Chile conceded against Australia exposed its defensive weakness), so Spain may well advance. The aura of invincibility had already taken a knock last year (see this excellent analysis); but then Spain had clearly suffered from a brutal schedule at the Confederations Cup. In last night's game, the key factor was, in fact, the difference in fitness between the two sides (as Robben noted in an interview after the game). This helps explain the increasing number of 'mistakes' made by Spain during the second half. The significance of fitness is oddly underestimated in discussions about world-class football. But the Dutch side that embarrassed itself at Euro 2012 was clearly not physically prepared to excell at the highest level. For much of football history, German teams were notorious for winning games in the final minute(s). As Gary Lineker said: "Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win." The Germans were always a class apart physically wearing down more talented teams.
Even so, coaching/strategy made a non-trivial contribution to the Dutch win. To put it bluntly, the Spanish did not fear the Dutch. In particular, they saw no reason to change their tactics in light of the fact that the Dutch side has the two greatest strikers (Van Robben and Persie) any team will field this year. The lack of respect for the Dutch was widely shared among pundits--most of the rest of the team is unknown and untested at the highest level of play. Moreover, Wesley Sneijder is not the dominating player he once was. (This may be a blessing in disguise because he is more dangerous when he plays serving the team.)
Yet, Spanish scouting clearly failed; they seemed unaware of the fact that Daley Blind, who does not play yet in one of the more important leagues, is a great playmaker. They did not press Blind early (which cost them dearly in several goals) [see here for an excellent analysis]. Also, for the first time since the 1970s and 1980s, the Dutch have an athletic, youthful defense. This defense showed its inexperience during the first half hour; Van Gaal -- breaking with four decades of Dutch dogma -- sensibly gave them an extra player to fit any holes in the back. As he explained frankly on Dutch TV, he does not think his side has the talent and quality to attempt to dominate the Spanish team. Because I think Van Gaal may be the best coach in the game (and I have an obvious bias toward the Netherlands), and because I expect a lot from Chile (although less so after last night's game), before the game I jokingly suggested on facebook that Spain would not make it out of the group.